[WORLDKINGS] Traditional clothing from around the world – P27 – Bunad : The beauty of Norwegian


(WorldKings.org) The colourful Norwegian folk dress has gained in popularity in recent years. A bunad is a traditional folk costume that you find all over Norway. Although much more popular with women, men's bunads are also available.The best time to see the outfit is on Norway’s national day, when the streets are full of bunad-wearing Norwegians of all generations!

A great number of folk costumes exist in Norway, all of them associated with a locality or region. However, few are very ancient; the vast majority have been created or at least reconstructed since the late 19th century, as a part of the national romantic movement which flourished around independence in 1905. Although anyone can in principle wear the bunad she (or he – male versions exist) likes, there are moral sanctions against wearing a costume from an area one is not connected to through residence or ancestry. The bunad, thus, is more than a garment: it is a marker of national and local identity.



Norwegians use bunad for various celebrations including weddings and possibly important birthdays and folk dances. It's also often worn on religious occasions such as baptisms, confirmations, and sometimes at Christmas. But without doubt, the best day to admire the bunad out in public in Norway is on the 17th of May for the country's Constitution Day celebrations, when almost everyone dons the national dress.

One primary focus is an appreciation of and homage to your Norwegian heritage in general and to your part of Norway in particular. It is customary to wear a bunad or folkedrakt from an area to which you have a genetic or residential connection. Your bunad should display good to excellent fabrics and workmanship, fit nicely, and be clean and in good repair. Because you are wearing traditional (or traditionally related) clothing, conservative makeup and hairstyles are suitable.



Since a bunad is a festival garment, less ornate traditional dress is more suitable and practical for work situations. Everyday cotton or wool costumes, colored and patterned shirts and aprons, and simpler sølje are among the possibilities. Consider getting an everyday (hverdags) dress, which is less expensive and easier to make and care for. If fabrics are carefully chosen and workmanship is excellent, you will have appropriate clothing for traditional events.



Most bunader are acquired from Norway, either through local relatives or through the Bunad og Folkedrakt Nettverk. It is important to realize that a bunad can be assembled over time. The skirt and bodice may be worn with a plain shirt and simple sølje until further investments of time and/or money are made. Some festival costumes or portions of costumes can be made from patterns and fabrics available in the United States, while for others purchase in "kit" form or custom made from Norway is necessary.



Silver was magical in Norway, of superstition and legend. The mines were thought to belong to the mountain trolls who were the very best silversmiths. Silver was used to protecting against storms, heal sickness, consecrate water, and more. The above halsknapp (neck closure) and large sølje (brooch) on blouse gives clues to family's wealth and higher social ranking. The silver jewelry worn by his wife and daughters was an important status symbol for a farmer, as well as a way to store the family wealth.



In deciding what to buy - and how much to spend - consider that you will wear a piece for the rest of your life and pass it on to children and grandchildren. It is traditional to collect pieces over a lifetime, rather than purchasing them all at once.

Women's silver jewelry usually include: a neck pin or button which holds the shirt together at the neck, a brooch fastened across the front slit of the shirt (and almost never fastened to the bunad itself!), cufflinks and shoe buckles. Rings, belts and bridal accessories are common, but earrings are not traditional with folk costumes.

According to nordics.info; lifeinnorway.net and daughtersofnorway.org

Bee (Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)

Tags: Bunad norway


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